In April of 2014, following a news report on the lack of a support group in Calgary for families who have lost loved ones to homicide, Debbie Hogarth and Karen Venables met for the first time. Although they had never met before, they had one definite commonality; both of their sons, Josh and Devin, had been murdered. Debbie quickly realized that she didn’t have to say a word; Karen ‘just knew’.
In the aftermath of her son’s death, Debbie sought out a variety of bereavement groups. She quickly discovered that these groups left her feeling like an ‘outsider’ because of the circumstances of Josh’s death. The loss of a family member was devastating enough, but grief’s level and complexity had its own distinct complexities when the end was by the hand of another.
From the moment these two mothers met, they both knew that Calgary needed a Homicide Support Group. With grant funding received through the Alberta Victims of Crime Fund, Debbie and Karen’s dream of a support group dedicated to the families of homicide victims became a reality.
The Calgary Homicide Support Society offers a safe place for families of homicide victims to come together to find support from others who "just know.”